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Spelman Graduates Earn Fulbright Fellowships and Other Notable Academic Honors Share a Spelman College Press Release

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Audrey Arthur
Spelman College

ATLANTA (June 17, 2016) – This summer, members of the Spelman College class of 2016 will take part in a number of prestigious programs that delve into study abroad and global career experiences, and public interest advocacy projects. The accomplished graduates include Fulbright fellows, Rangel International Affairs fellows, a Critical Language Scholarship recipient and Arthur Liman Public Interest Program fellows.

Four Spelman graduates will participate in the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program, which places grantees in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction. The Fulbright fellows are: Lindsey Burgess, C’2016, history major, (Morocco); Jumaanah Harris, C’2016, English major (Malaysia); Sarah Brokenborough, C’2016, comparative women’s studies major (Laos); and Tyra Beaman, C’2016, international studies major, (Dominican Republic).

“Spelman is very excited that all four of its Fulbright semi-finalists were selected as awardees this year,” said Margery Ganz, Ph.D., Spelman's Fulbright program adviser and director of study abroad. “For a small liberal arts college to win four U.S. student fellowships in a single year’s competition is a very strong showing. Spelman students compete for Fulbrights both to serve as informal U.S. ambassadors, but also because they see Fulbright as a strong foundation for a career in the global arena.”

Beaman was also awarded a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, along with her classmate Sade Tuckett, C’2016. Both were selected as Rangel fellows following a highly competitive nationwide contest. The Rangel Fellowship Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, supports individuals who want to pursue a career representing the United States in the Foreign Service with the U.S. Department of State. Beaman and Tuckett will be the recipients of academic, professional and financial support from the program.

As a Rangel fellow, Tuckett will pursue a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution at American University. She plans to serve as a Foreign Service officer in either North or West Africa and the Middle East, specializing in peace relations and war prevention.

“The fellowship grants a spectacular opportunity to meet with established officials in foreign policy, a congressional internship, an internship at an overseas U.S. Embassy, and a five-year career as a United States Foreign Service officer, all while funding my graduate school career,” said Tuckett, a psychology major.

“Spelman College instilled in me a sense of public service, which is what work with the Foreign Service will mean. There is a reason why ‘A Choice to Change the World,’ is one of the most popular songs on campus; it is because we know, with the tools Spelman has granted us, we will all make that choice to change the world.”

Beaman has been admitted to Georgetown University and will study for a master’s degree in foreign service. Following completion of her Fulbright Fellowship, she will begin her Rangel Fellowship, which will include a stint abroad at a U.S. Embassy. Upon graduation from Georgetown, Beaman plans to become a U.S. diplomat.

“I must give credit to Spelman for helping me to become aware of the many opportunities for a career serving my country overseas,” said Beaman. “Without Spelman, I would not have as much confidence to work abroad as a Black woman as I have now. The workforce abroad does not reflect the diversity of America and my role as a diplomat will contribute to helping that workforce become more diverse.”

Four additional Spelman students earned esteemed awards: Kadijah Ndoye, C’2016, received a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship; and Brianna Baker C’2016, Lauren Fleming, C’2017, and Shelby Smith, C’2017, accepted Arthur Liman Fellowships.

The Critical Language Scholarship Program is a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Ndoye, one of approximately 560 undergraduate and graduate students to receive the scholarship in 2016, will travel to Arusha, Tanzania, in East Africa to study Swahili.

“As a Critical Language Scholar, I hope to learn Swahili, immerse myself in the cultures of Tanzania, and utilize postcolonial feminist and Black feminist lenses to analyze my experiences,” said Ndoye. “After I complete the scholarship, I will begin working as a consulting analyst at Accenture, a global consulting firm, and will pursue a Ph.D. in African history/studies.”

As recipients of Arthur Liman Public Interest Program Summer Fellowships, Baker, Fleming and Smith will be involved in public interest law projects that respond to inequality and improvement of access to justice. The program places fellows with organizations that provide civil or criminal legal services to individuals, institutions, entities focused on problems of legal and public policy and law-related media. Spelman is one of seven academic institutions supported by Liman Fellowships.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent.  Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway producer Alia Jones, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard University Professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson.  For more information, visit               


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